My whole life I have shied away from watching sports. The men in my family have always loved watching sports of all kinds. Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Car Racing of all types, etc. I can remember being a little boy and fighting with my brother because he would not stop watching the same episode of sportscenter over and over again. I just never understood the point when I was young.
Early on in my life I developed a hardcore individualist mindset and never considered any sports figures a role model for myself. Sure, I thought Michael Jordan was pretty cool. The reason I thought that was because he dominated the competition so much and was the best. Other than being a freak athelete though, he was just another guy.
It wasn’t until high school that I started to watch sports with any regularity. I didn’t get interested all of a sudden, I just thought that’s what guys talked about and it was expected. This was made easier by coinciding with my hometown teams getting much better and it being more exciting to watch.
My disinterest in watching sports didn’t have any impact on my interest in playing sports. I played baseball, football, basketball, and track and field. I loved playing sports, but as I got older stopped more and more because my talent wasn’t good enough to keep up. I only played football and track in high school as my real talent was running fast.
Enter Fantasy Football
Around 2006 I started playing fantasy football. I immediately became obsessed with it. It actually gave me a reason to watch sports and stay up to date with the stats of the league. I also was very good at it. I won the first league I ever entered. This just fueled my obsession even more.
This was all new and exciting for me. I could watch all the games and find meaning in it. I always had this feeling that if I was actually watching the games I could somehow make my players play better.
I was winning and doing really good until 2012 when I started to have losing seasons. When I was losing every week it lost a lot of the fun and I started to realize that I was addicted to this and wasting my time.
Wake up call
I had a couple moments when I realized that watching sports was downright silly. I worked at a beer distributor for a number of years and people would come in and play the lottery every day. Some people would waste a lot of money each day playing silly numbers.
These people all had “systems” they would use or other crazy beliefs about the numbers. I just wanted to take them and explain the odds of winning in the lottery vs. sports betting. If they would have just taken the amount of money they spent on the lottery each day and used it on sports betting, they would have a much better success rate. I knew they would never listen though because they were living out their addiction.
Their crazy superstitions got me thinking about people who watch sports. Often times you’ll hear sports fans do crazy stuff because they think it will impact the game somehow. I saw this in myself when I thought that by me watching the game I could impact a player getting a touchdown. Many times you will hear the same logic: That if I don’t watch the game, I’ll miss our team winning a championship! It’s the same logic of people who play the lottery: If I miss playing this one day, I just know my numbers will come out.
People who watch sports are addicted to being passive in life.
The People on the screen can’t hear you
I know a lot of people who watch sports like to identify themselves as part of the team. They will say things like “my team” or “our coach”. Here’s the thing, you aren’t part of the team in any way.
The team doesn’t care about you at all, except that they want your money. One of many such examples of this was when the Philadelphia Eagles got a new stadium and started charging for seat licenses. This was a new scam they thought up which was basically charging you money for the right to charge you money. They whipped this new policy up after making a new stadium that they got the city of Philadelphia to pay for.
You have no outcome on the game. When you are sitting on your couch yelling at people to do stuff, it has no effect on the players. Go to a sports bar the next time a game is on and witness people yelling at the televisions. I’m not making this up.
The teams’ ownership constantly insults the fans intelligence by never answering questions to the media. They will use the same language politicians use to get out of answering any questions and will always make excuses that are absurd. For example, the Philadelphia Phillies would always pull this when they would say they are a “small market team”.
Watching sports fosters cowardly behavior in dudes
Social media has created an environment in which fans can complain directly to the athletes when they have a shitty week or are injured. This happens a lot because of fantasy sports in which a player plays like garbage and someone is butthurt because it cost them their game.
Arian Foster of the Houston Texans is one of my favorite athletes because of how he handles the media and fantasy football fans. A number of years ago he had some injury coming into the season and everyone was giving him shit. He responded by calling all of them sick. He also recently got fined by the league because he had the same answer for 10 different questions from reporters during training camp.
Arian Foster only cares about playing the game, and winning. He’s not playing for some kind of service to the fans. He’s on the field with skin in the game. He’s a competitor.
If you go on facebook while your local team is playing, you can get a play by play analysis about what’s going on in the game. If anything controversial happens, people will absolutely go crazy complaining about it.
One gentleman I am friends with would go on facebook and say that if the Eagles wouldn’t fire Andy Reid, he was “done”. I took this to mean that he was boycotting the team, and not watching, but there he was every week talking about the game with Andy Reid still coaching.
Wear your own name
I have never worn athletic jerseys of professional athletes in my life. The only jerseys I have worn were my own from playing sports.
I find it a bit strange that otherwise grown men are wearing the name of another man on their back. Watch any football game and you are bound to see old men wearing a jersey of their favorite athlete. Think about this for a second, an old man wearing some kid’s name on his back.
Guys are living vicariously though other men because nothing is going on in their lives. Start doing stuff in your own life that is exciting.
Even if your team wins, what then?
Professional sports is an endless cycle. There’s a saying in sports, “There’s always next year!” Well that applies to winning as well. Let’s say your team won the super bowl. No one stops watching just because they won. Next year they have to defend the title. If the team doesn’t win the super bowl again, it’s a let down.
The only good thing about winning is the ability to brag to other people that your favorite team won. This only lasts about a few months max. It’s meaningless.
This happened to me when the Philadelphia Phillies won the world series in 2008. I cared about it for about a week after it happened. Sure, it was a memorable experience to go to the parade on broad street, but the fact that we won had minimal impact on me. The next year, the Phillies went back to the world series and lost to the Yankees. This was seen as a let down.
On and on the story goes, there is never an end.
Watching sports is a huge waste of time
The average run time of an NFL game is 3 hours and 11 minutes. That’s a whole three hours of your life where you could be doing something productive.
I have heard people tell me that they don’t have the time to start a business. I call bullshit every time. How many of these same people are sitting at home on a Sunday watching football? With intense focus and discipline, a lot can be done in 3 hours. That’s assuming of course that they are watching just one game. A lot of people spend their whole Sunday watching football from 1PM-11PM at night. That’s a lot of time folks.
It doesn’t end here though, after the game people will tune into sportscenter and watch the highlights of the day for another hour, or they watch the post game where former players talk about what happened that day. Then, the next morning you will listen to sports talk radio and hear people say the same things over and over again for hours.
Don’t discount sports events
Listen, there’s something to be said about going to a sporting event, especially if you never have before. If you have never been to a game before you should see at least one with great seats. Just don’t make it your life.
I’ve never been to the super bowl before and would like to go once just to take part in the event. It’s a bucket list item, but it doesn’t mean that I want to go to the super bowl every year just to keep up.
Watching sports with friends can also turn into an event. Tailgating and going to parties for sports events are both fun activities, but I like them more because it’s a chance to hang out with my friends than actually watching the sports.
Being addicted to watching sports comes with some tell tale behaviors. Here are some of the top warning signs.
- Do you yell at the television screen? Why? The people on the field can’t hear you.
- Do you watch sports by yourself? What is compelling you to watch?
- Do you identify with a specific sports franchise? They don’t care about you no matter how hard you root.
- Do you have tattoos of your favorite team’s logo? That’s called free marketing and it’s an absolute mark move.
The biggest quick fix that I have found to being addicted to sports is to go out and actually play sports yourself. You could do this by playing with friends, but I suggest getting involved in an organized league of some sort. Leagues like the PSSC are actually filled with super competitive people. This competition may give you a reason to workout to be better at sports. If nothing else though, playing sports will make you forget about other people’s teams and make you worry about your own.
Getting rid of your cable television service is another strong step to take. Not only is cable super expensive, but with sports on all the time you may find it difficult to get work done if all you need to do is click on the television.
Start using all the energy you used to root for your team to better yourself. This includes the 3 areas of getting healthy, having more money, and having better relationships.
Be honest with yourself, what would you rather have happen, win another championship or be financially free able to do what you want?
Expect a backlash
Nobody likes being told that they are doing something meaningless, but by nature of you coming here I’ll assume you are ready for the message.
When you start changing and trying to better yourself, expect that no one will understand and will not only be flabbergasted, but also attempt to dissuade you. Just ignore this and keep moving forward.
If you are reading this and considering stopping sports, good for you! However I have to warn you about trying to deliver this message to any of your friends and family. To them, it will just come off as you trying to act superior. It won’t work. Trust me on this, there’s no point in arguing with people on facebook about how dumb their 100 status updates about the game are.
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